Released: 2011, Deepsend Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
18 years ago before Sigh was shredding freakout, freeform jazz with sexpot saxophone players, they were a legitimate player in the “True Black Metal” scene of the early ‘90s. As many know by now, Euronymous was impressed enough with the Japanese trio’s REQUIEM FOR FOOLS EP that he signed the band to his Deathlike Silence Productions. The release of SCORN DEFEAT in 1993 was unfortunately overshadowed by the murder of Euronymous, but almost 2 decades later, the impact of Sigh’s debut on black metal as we know it today cannot be overstated. One can argue with a degree of confidence that many of the genre’s hallmarks share their DNA with SCORN DEFEAT - particularly the integration of keyboards, piano and other traditionally non-metal instruments. The album’s been reissued a few times over the years, each time with different bonus tracks, but Deepsend Records has pulled out all the stops for the definitive collector’s version of the album. A 2-disc collection in an 8-panel digipack (complete with new artwork), you get not only the original SCORN DEFEAT album, but the REQUIEM FOR FOOLS EP, the TRAGEDIES and DESOLATION demos from 1990, Sigh’s tracks from the band’s ’94 split with Kawir, and a spattering of other odds and ends.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, let’s examine the facts now, shall we? Point 1 – A high quality digital version of SCORN DEFEAT’s original 8 tracks is in and of itself, incentive enough to make this purchase. Point 2 – Not only do you get SCORN DEFEAT, but save for a few rarities, you get Sigh’s entire pre-INFIDEL ART library with it. I’ll save you the math folks, that’s roughly 2 hours of excellent tunes for the price of a single disc. If you need a Point 3, go back to listening to your Hellyeah CD and let’s forget that we ever met. None of the press surrounding the reissue has mentioned remastering, but the sound quality of album’s original 8-tracks is noticeably brighter and more pronounced than on prior reissues. But even the quality of the original pressing wasn’t bad to begin with even by today’s standards. I gave the album the headphones test and was impressed at how well SCORN DEFEAT holds up almost 2 decades after the fact and how far ahead of their time Sigh was (and realistically still is).
Black metal aficionados will already recognize what a gem this SCORN DEFEAT reissue is, but if by chance you’ve never experienced Sigh’s blend of highly creative and innovative metal, this is a great starting point. Granted that the band’s sound has shifted dramatically with each subsequent release, you can hear the seeds of the band’s creativity beginning to germinate on SCORN DEFEAT.